Augsburg News

News Archives - 1998

Augsburg Men's Hockey Coach Mike Schwartz Named AHCA National Coach of the Year

Apr. 13, 1998

Augsburg College men's hockey coach Mike Schwartz was honored by his peers in the coaching community on Friday, as he was named Men's College (NCAA Divisions II-III) National Coach of the Year by the American Hockey Coaches Association.

Schwartz, who finished his second season as Augsburg College's head coach with one of the best campaigns in the 70-year history of the school's men's hockey program, has a 35-18-5 career record.

After finishing in fifth place last season, one spot out of the MIAC playoffs in Schwartz's first campaign, the Auggies dominated the 1997-98 season, finishing fourth in the NCAA Division III national tournament, claiming a share of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship (Augsburg's first since 1982) with St. Thomas and winning the school's first-ever MIAC playoff title. Augsburg finished the season with a 21-8-4 overall record and 12-3-1 MIAC mark. The outstanding record included a 14-game winning streak and an 18-1-1 stretch in the team's last 20 games before advancing to the NCAA Division III Final Four in Plattsburgh, N.Y., March 20-21.

Schwartz, a 1983 Augsburg graduate and a member of the school's 1981-82 NAIA national championship team (Augsburg won NAIA titles in 1978, 81 and 82), returned to Augsburg to replace Ed Saugestad, who retired after 37 years on the Augsburg bench in 1996.

The national coach of the year honors marks the fifth coaching award Schwartz has received. As coach of White Bear Lake, Minn., High School from 1992-93 to 1995-96, Schwartz was named Section 3AA Coach of the Year in 1994, 1995 and 1996, each year taking the Bears to the state tournament. He was also named Alaska High School Hockey Coach of the Year in 1986 after leading the Lathrop High School (Fairbanks, Alaska) to the Alaska state title.

Schwartz has also coached a professional team in Renon, Italy (1991-92), was the coach and general manager of the Sioux City (Iowa) Musketeers of the United States Hockey League (1990-91), and coached at St. Paul Johnson High School (1986-90) during his career.

Schwartz also serves the Augsburg athletic department as men's equipment supervisor. He and his wife, Judy, have four children and live in Woodbury, Minn.

The AHCA also named University of Minnesota women's hockey coach Laura Halldorson the national coach of the year for women's hockey. Halldorson guided the Gopher women's hockey team, in their first season as a varsity program, to the inaugural national women's tournament this season in Boston, Mass., finishing fourth in the country. Halldorson, a Plymouth, Minn., native, coached at Colby College (Maine) for seven years before coming to Minnesota.

The AHCA honor marks the second national coach of the year honors an Augsburg coach has received. In March, Auggie wrestling coach Jeff Swenson earned Division III national coach of the year honors from the National Wrestling Coaches Association for the fourth time in his career, after the Auggies won the national title for the fifth time in the 1990s.